This week I have some more poetic hallowings share. It has been quite a while since I last posted some hallowings. Today I present a fire warding, a sword warding, and a three wells water warding. Like the previous set, they are designed for the hallowing of what is ordinarily profane space in preparation for Asatru ritual. They should be done with the tools mentioned. That is, if you’re reciting the sword warding to hallow your ritual space, it is best to actually carry a sword at the time. Also, if possible, one should walk the boundaries of the space to be hallowed when reciting them. These are all written in fornyrðislag.
Today I finish the special sequence of elaborate sumbel toasts that I started with a toast to Odin in January and continued with a toast to the Einherjar in September. This third and final toast of the sequence was written for the third round of a typical sumbel, wherein one may present oaths, boasts, or any sort of toast that would not fit in the first two rounds. In particular, one may toast living people, which is disallowed in the first two rounds, as the living are not gods or ancestors while they are still alive! Rather than toast any one particular living person, this final toast is to the living collective of modern heathens known as the Folk. Just like the previous two toasts of the sequence, it is written as a seven stanza ljóðaháttr drápa with the final stanza ending in a galdralag couplet; the refrain is italicized. As with the other toasts, I have completely anglicized the spelling of the Norse names and words.
To the Folk’s future
forward I look,
and praise the past as well;
A full horn I raise
to the Folk today —
the modern heathen heroes.
With a total of 52 posts on this blog including this one, readers both new and old may find it a bit daunting to scroll through. So today I’ve updated this site with some content guides. They are the links in the black menu bar above: Major Poems, Minor Poems, Audio Recordings, Non-Poetry. Each one goes to a page providing links to all the posts in its category. Now for a short description of what the categories mean.
Major Poems: Stand-alone poems that have titles of their own.
Minor Poems: Short collections of loose stanzas for things such as calls to the gods.
Audio Recordings: Recorded recitations for your computer or mobile device of choice.
Non-Poetry: Everything else. Introductory material, book lists, meter discussions, etc.
Generally, these lists will be updated as needed or approximately monthly.
Over a year ago, I posted a poem about the Nine Noble Virtues. Today I present a second poem on the Nine Noble Virtues, one that takes a different approach. For this poem, I went through the rune staves of the Elder Futhark and paired a single stave to each of the virtues. It is in six stanzas of fornyrðislag. The names of the runes and the virtues are capitalized here.
A mainful song
I sing of virtues;
nine they number,
noble they be.
Useful to have,
they help my quest,
riding the road
to Runes and Mead.
I look to traditional Old Norse forms for inspiration and ideas for new poems. It was perhaps inevitable that I would turn to the genre of the “shield drápa” eventually, and indeed I have. My post today features my first shield drápa, but first I shall say a bit more about what a shield drápa is, with reference to some historical examples, of course.
In the Old Norse period, finely decorated shields, often depicting scenes from the mythology, were occasionally given as gifts. If a poet received one as a gift, it was apparently expected that the poet would compose a poem about it, sometimes even in the form of a drápa. In Egil’s Saga (chapter 81), it is mentioned that a friend of Egil’s, Einar Skallaglam, came to visit him with a shield as a gift. But Egil was away. After three nights, Egil still had not returned. Since staying longer than three nights on a visit was contrary to custom, Einar left at that point, but left the shield behind as a gift. When Egil discovered it, he is reported to have said, “That scoundrel. Does he expect me to stay awake making a poem about his shield? Fetch my horse, I shall ride after him and kill him.” Egil was exaggerating a bit, as he did not actually go out and kill his friend. He is reported to have compose a drápa about the shield nonetheless, though only a single stanza of it is quoted in his saga.